Two old friends


I placed the saddle on his back, then pulled the cinch up tight. Old Cyrus turned
and looked at me. He knew we’d be all right.

I’d seen that look a thousand times. We’d earned each other’s trust. And at my
age a gentle horse, for dang sure is a must.

Old Cyrus ain’t no young one. I’d say prob’ly 22. In human years we’re
‘bout the same. They say a rest is due.

I wonder if old Cyrus feels the stiffness from his age? The way my crooked fingers
feel from rheumatism’s rage.

It seems like only yesterday, when I went off to work. The old men called me
youngster and that drove me plumb berserk.

But now I look at Cyrus. He and I have both grown old. Now no one calls me
youngster. It’s the wrinkles, I’ve been told.

And Cyrus doesn’t seem to have that spring left in his step. It’s obvious the two of
us have up and lost our pep.

Some cowboys say that when a horse has lost his usefulness, “Just take him to the
sale. It’s not a sign of selfishness.”

I can’t imagine any other fellow on my horse. The bond between a horse and
rider shares a mighty force.

Old Cyrus has been good to me and I’ve been good to him. The chance of selling
Cyrus, well I’d say it’s mighty slim.

Most trainers tell you that a horse should never be a friend. I guess I broke that
rule, ‘cuz he’s my friend right to the end.

I owe it to my horse to never let him be alone. Some call it foolish but to me a
debt that’s carved in stone.

So soon enough we’ll turn him out to pasture for a time. I’ll feed and keep him
company and hope that God is kind.

And may there be a place for him, up there in heaven’s great. I hope I’m close
behind him. May it be the shortest wait.

And when I get so doggone old and need someone to care. I hope I’m treated
kindly ‘til I meet old Cyrus there.


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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.



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